You Are Not the Ocean, Mostly Because You Can’t Be

by Ryan

Let’s kick this thing off with a bit of a humblebrag: I am always surprised when someone says they A) listen to our podcasts and B) actually take something from them. I suppose that’s the goal, but feedback is so rare on things like that I always appreciate any at all.

The biggest problem I have with the podcast is that it’s often tough to write about something you talk about and develop fully out loud. The process is different, but talking about an idea in a podcast makes it extremely unlikely I ever actually write about something. Like the idea is “used” or something.

But, MSPaint graphics can help:

Paul from Hockey Rhetoric whipped this up and wrote about Connolly and Miller, something I covered in a column for the Niagara Gazette last week.

No one really cares about Tim Connolly anymore, but the larger issue of perception is something I’ve thought about a lot over the past few days. I’m tired of having the same arguments over and over, or watching shots get fired on Twitter. I’d much rather get to the reason why we have these fights and figure out what to take out of them.

That’s what I was talking about in our last podcast, essentially accepting that you simply don’t have all the answers. Fans complain about the media. Media complains about the players. Players complain about the media and both players and media complain about the fans if they’re really cranky.

The disconnect is obvious, isn’t it? We have no way to truly relate to one another. Imagine the sports world is comprised of three different genders, and each one struggles to communicate with one another just like men and women have for centuries. A fan’s view of the scene is much different than a player’s, and despite the fact that they occupy the same space from time to time, media simply can’t relate to players well enough to truly get along.

But this isn’t a pointless exercise, the dissonance is a necessary part of the discourse. I think what’s important is to consider the source and what each part really means. A consensus among one group is only part of the whole truth, which is why arguments persist about, quite frankly, the absolute dumbest things imaginable.

We’re so caught up in the differences in opinion that we’re missing the big picture. Media is going to bitch about stupid things like travel and players that aren’t helpful because it’s their job. Players are going to give boring quotes and try to keep a good image with fans while keeping as little about their personal lives from ever getting out. Because that’s sort of their job as well.

And fans, well, they have the lowest-paying job of all. The point is, the priorities are different and the drill holes never really line up. But, if you squish everything together and get a little creative I think the end result is much better.

If you’re not listening closely when they really start talking, then what’s the point?

One Comment

  1. Mike

    Interesting post as usual Ryan. In your metaphor, not to get too ridiculous or anything, but I feel like there are lots of transgendered people.

    Almost all players are also fans in some capacity; Media are fans too, although the stodgier media have a tough time admitting this; very few media or fans are actually players in any sense; and few fans and players can break into media.

    It would seem logical that the most reliable sports point of view would come from individuals who have all three perspectives, although it would seem like few individuals would be up to the task. In political science they discuss bureaucracies capturing their own would be reformers into their own culture so that they lose that outside perspective that would help the organization that they have come into. I suppose that also applies to the private sector. In my mind, by the very nature of the work they do, this also happens quickly in the media and player worlds, the players because they are part of such a tight knit fraternity and the media I imagine because of the professional standards of journalism. It’s amazing to me though, even how fast players can transition to media, say after they retire. There is a well thought out book in there somewhere that probably nobody would read except me.

    I guess what I’m saying is that when it comes to blogs like this one, there is great value in the perspectives that you, Chris, Corey and Jon have as members of the media who are also fans. But I fear losing the fan perspective over time.